Tasmania weekly wrap: Mariners on verge of clean sweep; TSL Round 7 preview

THIS week in Tasmanian football saw the state’s Under 18 side looking for a Under 18 Academy clean sweep, while the Round 7 TSL action brings the long-awaited 2017 Grand Final re-match.

Mariners knock off Swans on way to undefeated championship run

The Tassie Mariners were again impressive this past Saturday when they defeated a highly fancied Sydney Swans Academy by 42 points at KGV Oval in Glenorchy, Tasmania.

The Mariners, who are undefeated in the 2018 Under 18 Academy Series, performed strongly again and were able to run out 18.5 (113) to 12.9 (81) winners over last year’s title holders after a gutsy second-half performance. Tarryn Thomas, a member of the North Melbourne Next Generation Academy, put on another tantalising performance with many draft insiders now considering him a top three prospect in the 2018 AFL Draft. Thomas finished with best afield honours to go along with his two goals while renowned draft expert and AFL National and International Talent Manager Kevin ‘Shifter’ Sheehan also heaped praise on the young talented midfielder.

“He [Thomas] has great composure and clean hands – he doesn’t fumble. We have challenging conditions today with a bit of a rain but it doesn’t worry him, he is a one-grab player,” Sheehan said. “He has that poise to spot a target, he’s kicked a couple of goals in the first half that were really special. He is a lovely size, is strong overhead and is an ideal size to play AFL and play in a variety of positions – he can play off half back, come through the midfield and win his own ball on the inside or play forward. “He is a very creative player and one we have enjoyed watching the last three years, he has been on the radar for all the clubs for a long time. North Melbourne look to have a gift in Thomas.”

The Mariners now turn their attention to the GWS Academy who they face this Saturday at Kingston’s Twin Ovals in Hobart.

TSL Round 7

Round 7 action of the BUPA TSL kicks off this Saturday with the shape of the competition starting to take place.

Fresh off an upset victory over the previously undefeated Glenorchy in Round 6, Clarence will travel to the Twin Ovals to face Tigers who will be looking to rebound from their 91-point loss to Launceston last week. Sitting 1-4 and second last on the table, the Tigers will be looking for midfield stars Ryan Matthews, Will Campbell and Lachy Clifford to step-up and ensure they don’t lose a third game at home this season. For the Roos, playing-coach Jeromey Webberley will be looking to back-up from his best performance of the season last week while Ryan Bailey will be pivotal in the ruck for the visitors.

Meanwhile, the side that defeated Clarence last week in Glenorchy will hit the highway and face one of the most daunting tasks in the competition when they tackle the in-form Launceston at Windsor Park. Magpies coach Paul Kennedy revealed in his Thursday press-conference that Josh Grant will be tasked with curtailing the influence of current competition leading goal-kicker Mitch Thorp (24) while the Magpies will also regain Rhys Mott from suspension for the clash that kicks off at 2:00pm on Saturday.

In the final match of the round, North Launceston and Lauderdale will square off the in 2017 Grand Final re-match at Utas Stadium from 2:00pm on Saturday.

The Bombers, having won two on the trot, will miss the influence of in-form ruckman Haydn Smith after he suffered a concussion in last week’s victory over North Hobart while Jacob Gilbee will be looking to build on the form and fitness he showed in his return game last week, where he finished with two majors.

North Hobart has the bye.

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